Advice on Which 3D Filament to Use

Theawesomedudes

New Member
Hi all,
I'm planning to build an ODST helmet with my new 3D printer to use both as a prop and for the occasional airsoft battle. Thing is, I've got absolutely no idea what filament would work best for this sort of project. Any advice? Also, is there a cheap, inexpensive way to make a VISR?
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Thing is, I've got absolutely no idea what filament would work best for this sort of project. Any advice? Also, is there a cheap, inexpensive way to make a VISR?
Welcome to the world of design and materials science where everything has trade offs.

PLA has the benefit of being cheap, easy printing, low wear and tear on your printer but sanding is a pain and has a lower transition temperature (warping if left out in the sun or in a hot car for long periods of time)

ABS is great for post-processing work since it sands well and can be chemically smoothed but you want to have an enclosure to help prevent it's tendency to warp in the printing process and help filter out the fumes produced when printing.

PETG is a blend of the two for good printing detail, post-processing and heat resistance but it is more expensive per unit volume and likes to be hot when printed so your machine will wear out quicker.

You can get into some more exotic materials as well but the price tag will go up and availability will not be guaranteed forever. I like to use PLA+ (PLA with additives) for a bit of a more durable part with slightly higher temperature resistance. It works for me and my machines but what works for you may be different.
 

Coreforge

Member
For the VISR, that depends on what you call cheap, what you want it to do and how much space you have. If you just want a static image and can stick a phone above your visor, you could use a transparent piece of plastic at about 45° to reflect the screen into your eyes, but still allow you to see outside. This doesn't work too well with too much light, but if it's a bit darker, it works surprisingly well. You will need some lenses in front of the screen however so you can focus on it without it being too difficult.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
What temperature would you say is the required minimum for a good ABS printing?
It depends on the manufacturer but between 230°C and 240°C is the usual range for the hot end and above 60°C for the bed depending on your bed material even higher. These sorts of temperatures are where other parts start to fail more quickly. Things like bowden tube (PTFE) starts to break down so if you can have an all metal hot end it'll help reduce some wear and tear but some of the warping downsides are just a part of the experience.
 
Top